Mercedes not keen on Formula One budget cap

 

Mercedes team boss Ross Brawn has dismissed Bernie Ecclestone's latest idea of a full-blown budget cap for Formula One.

A week ago Ecclestone claimed there were "too many people in F1 running around with rose-tinted glasses", believing "the sun is shining and life is beautiful".

However, like close friend and former FIA president Max Mosley has previously remarked, Ecclestone feels the teams need to continue further cutting their cloth accordingly rather than spending vast sums of money "on baronial motorhomes and all kinds of entertainment".

Mosley did attempt to impose a budget cap a few years ago, an idea that initially garnered support before eventually morphing into the current Resource Restriction Agreement.

The policing of it has often been questioned because the money spent by the wealthier teams in McLaren, Ferrari, Red Bull and Mercedes far exceeds the likes of Caterham, Marussia and HRT.

It is why Ecclestone would welcome a budget cap, if it could be imposed, however - and unsurprisingly countering the argument - Brawn has no doubts the RRA serves its purpose.

"As you know we've been strong supporters of the RRA, which we think is the intelligent budget cap," Brawn said.

"We're still very strong supporters and that's what I'd like to see going forward, and we're working with the teams and the FIA to see if we can find further solutions to a resource restriction.

"Once you have a mechanism in place, of course you then decide on the appropriate levels for that mechanism to operate on.

"We've made it clear we want to change those levels over the years and make it more achievable to all the teams.

"But for those teams who can't achieve those levels, it's still important to have a resource restriction because they know they are still operating close to what the successful teams are operating with, and not a fraction of what they have.

"So we're very strong supporters of the Resource Restriction, and it's good to see Mr Ecclestone recognising that."

In a year when a new Concorde Agreement - the tri-partite pact between the teams, FIA and Ecclestone's Formula One Management - is to be ratified, one of the keys could surround the future of the RRA.

Mercedes vice-president of motorsport Norbert Haug said: "It's essential for the future for the sport. It's certainly helped to create even closer competition.

"I have to say I've a great amount of respect for teams like Force India, Sauber and so on. They're doing a fantastic job with the budget they have.

"We are a team that is not the very best funded because it is wise for a manufacturer not to spend too much money, but rather be around for the long term in Formula One.

"But it (RRA) helps and is very important."

With regard to a new Concorde Agreement, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner and Ferrari counterpart Stefano Domenicali both claim discussions are ongoing and seemingly progressing well.

"We want to have a Concorde Agreement that reaches into the future, and we are in discussion with FOM at the moment," Horner said.

"Talks have been progressing reasonably well, so we will see."

As for Domenicali, he added: "Discussions are going on in the right way, but no more than that at the moment."

PA

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